Developer Funding For Surrey Canal Road Agreed

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Lewisham Council have granted outline planning permission for developer Renewal’s proposed £850m housing and retail development on the “Surrey Canal Triangle” site. A package of transport improvements are mandated as part of the work – including contributory funding for Surrey Canal Road Station.

The proposed Surrey Canal Road station on the East London Line Extension Phase 2 has been in limbo since the DfT withdrew funding support. Passive provision (including the construction of a station box) is being completed as part of the ELLX2 project, but without additional funding this was unlikely to see conversion to a full station for some time.

Under the outline planning permission granted to Renewal, this will now need to be fully commissioned as a station. It is understood that Lewisham will provide the £3m contribution they had already budgeted for within their Local Implementation Plan for the period, and the suggestion appears to be that Renewal have agreed to contribute the remaining cost. TfL would be responsible for the actual station build, with this to be completed within a maximum of two years of ground being broken by Renewal on their development.

The cost of the station build is estimated at £10m (although that figure includes a 40% contingency) and the end result will be a relatively basic, unmanned station with step-free access via a mobility lift, and station canopies. Forecasts are that this station will see about 348 passengers per peak, meaning the ELL would remain within its current line loading threshold. There’s currently no indication as to whether the cost of the station has increased due to the fact that it will now not be completed as part of ELLX2 itself, although that seems likely. The efforts that TfL put into constructing an impressive amount of passive provision on the site will, however, probably have helped minimise this somewhat.

In addition to the station itself, the outline permission indicates that a number of other transport improvements have been agreed in principle. The purchase of land allowing, Renewal will work with TfL to construct a transport interchange next to SCR station, which will likely include three bus stands and a bus bay. The developers will also subsidise two new bus services to the area. Extending the 415 from Elephant and Castle appears to be the preferred option at the moment (giving a direct link to Central London) along with the creation of a new route that would run to Lewisham Town Centre.

Finally, a new eastern link road between Rollins Street and Surrey Canal Road is proposed (assuming the land can be negotiated with TfL) and additional cycle and foot paths will be provided – including one to link through to South Bermondsey station to the north.

Overall, it’s a comprehensive package of improvements. Many felt that Surrey Canal Road was a station that should always have been left to a future site developer to pursue, although most agreed that the DfT’s handling of the whole funding situation was somewhat farcical. Ultimately, the important thing is that we may finally be on the right path for a positive end to the saga of Surrey Canal Road.

Thanks to IanVisits, DB and PA for the spot

Written by John Bull